language

I’m sitting in the main office at the refugee center (where I’m doing my internship), listening to two people speaking in Somali.  They’ve been talking for almost 45 minutes and I have no idea what they’re saying.  It’s just them and me here today.

I can’t help but wonder…what are they talking about?  Their childhoods?  Their families?  Or something more, like injustice?  Life in the United States?   Their experiences as refugees?

Language is crazy.  They’re saying words and phrases and sentences that result in laughter, tears, a serious mood, a friendship being formed.  Yet for me, all it results in is confusion.  Maybe not confusion, seeing how I’m not trying to understand what they’re saying.  But if they’re in light, then I’m in the dark.

As I’ve told my Chinese friends, they don’t have to talk to God in English.  He speaks Chinese.  And Somali and Norwegian and Haitian.  Imagine being able to speak every language…

What about those that don’t speak, those who are non-verbal.  Or those who communicate through sign language.  Or one that we all use: body language.

At the root of all these, I believe, is the heart.  God not only speaks every language, He understands every language.  He understands the language of your heart – the language that you cannot express in words, the language that your heart cries out in, the language you are speaking through your actions.  Because God looks at the heart, He understands what you are saying without having to ask you or tell you.

1 Samuel 16:7 confirms this:  “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance,  but the Lord looks on the heart.’ ”

I love that.  God understands the language of my body crying out in pain without my having to tell Him.  He speaks the language of heart, and I know it through the way He comforts me, guides me, and heals me.  God sees my every action – the good, the bad, and the ugly, he hears every word I speak – the kind, the mean, and the rude, and he reads my mind – the judging thoughts, the unspoken apologies, the dreams for the future.  And He loves me.  He speaks every language that I do, even the ones I don’t know that I know, and He understands them fully and completely.  And He calls me His daughter. 

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